Darjeeling Gopaldhara Nectar is an exquisite First Flush black tea from Gopaldhara Tea Estate. Made solely from AV2 plants from specially selected sections of the garden that are located in some of the highest areas of the Estate. This tea is handpicked from First Flush shoots that emerge after the long winter hibernation, which are then carefully processed by hand to preserve the delicate leaves as much as possible. It also undergoes medium oxidation that still retains that delicate spring nature of the leaves, while bringing out classic First Flush flavours. This is a ‘FTGFOP1 Wonder Gold’ grade, a name that reflects the high quality of the leaf as well as the specially reserved high altitude areas of the garden. It was picked and processed in March 2022.
You may also be interested in our other 2022 harvest teas from Gopaldhara and Rohini Tea Estates.
Like all our of Gopaldhara teas, we source this tea directly from Rishi Saria, the owner and director of Gopaldhara and Rohini Tea Estates. Gopaldhara Tea Estate is nestled in the Mirik Valley, in the Himalayan foothills, and is one of the highest tea estates in Darjeeling with elevations of up to 2,100m. It is renowned for producing teas of exceptional quality and very often quite unusual character. The estate is also known for innovation, with new types of tea that utilise new and traditional production methods being developed every season. This Gopaldhara Nectar is no exception, the quality of the leaves speaking for itself. The flavours are classic First Flush, while also being much more sophisticated and complex.
This Darjeeling Gopaldhara Nectar is made entirely from leaves picked from AV2 plants grown at the highest elevations of the garden. The AV2 plant name stands for Ambari Vegetative 2, one of the various clonal plants popular in Darjeeling. AV2 is perhaps one of the most preferred clones in Darjeeling, even though it was originally developed in the plains. The popularity of this particular plants stems from the prominent fragrance and aroma of the finished tea. This plant is very prone to drought and insect attacks so the best teas come from plants grown at higher elevation in very good soil and that are picked during dry weather.
This Darjeeling Gopaldhara Nectar is a very fine First Flush tea, with a very beautiful leaf that is light to medium oxidised. It produces a classic First Flush mineral liquor, however the quality really adds another dimension that is normally not to be found in other Darjeeling teas, especially in more generic ones from elsewhere. While the unmistakeable First Flush character delivers the expected mineral aspect, this Gopaldhara Nectar also produces a liquor that is more complex with added sweet notes of floral honey as well as smooth and verdant, chalky and herbaceous flavours. The lasting aftertaste has a pleasantly light degree of tannic presence that interplays very nicely with the fruity sweetness on the finish. This is a fascinating tea that seems to be somewhere between a classic First Flush Darjeeling and a mineral, yet fruity Dan Cong or Wuyi Rock oolong.
It is best brewed at 90°C for 3-4 minutes and can be brewed 2+ times. Like all top grade teas from Gopaldhara and Rohini, you can try experimenting with gongfu brewing.